07
Jun
17

3 orphaned peregrine chicks now fostered; one to become a Springwatch star

Over the weekend we blogged about the suspected poisoning of two adult peregrines at a quarry nest site in Clee Hill, Shropshire, leaving three vulnerable chicks in need of rescue (see here).

Thanks to the efforts of a team of experts from various organisations, the three rescued chicks have now been fostered into two wild nests. The two larger females have been placed on a nest ledge in the Midlands, and the smaller male has been fostered in to the nest on Salisbury Cathedral. The RSPB has an updated blog about the latest developmentsĀ here.

Photo of the three rescued peregrine chicks (RSPB)

As many of you will know, this year’s breeding attempt by the resident Salisbury Cathedral peregrines has featured on the BBC’s Springwatch and tonight’s programme will show what happened when the young chick was introduced to his new foster family (BBC 2, 8pm).

Well done to all involved with the successful rescue of these peregrine chicks and thanks to BBC Springwatch for covering the story and bringing it, and thus illegal raptor persecution, to the attention of its 4 million viewers.

Clee Hill in Shropshire is a notorious site for the illegal poisoning of peregrines (e.g. see here). One local observer (@davebarnesphoto) has suggested that 11 peregrines have been killed at this nest in eight years. He also notes the area is a ‘pigeon racing hotspot’. Whoever killed the breeding pair this year will hopefully feel more than a little nervous as eight million eyes turn to scrutinise recent events at this site.

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13 Responses to “3 orphaned peregrine chicks now fostered; one to become a Springwatch star”


  1. 1 Secret Squirrel
    June 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    So Peregrines can’t count!

  2. 3 Greer Hart, senior
    June 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I have friends who are pigeon racers, and they spit venom when they hear Peregrine or Sparrow Hawk mentioned. There are anglers who have shot Otters and Seals, as they eat fish. Sometimes a Seal will come up the Clyde and will come ashore, to be targeted by narrow-minded angler. On an allotment in Glasgow, I found two of the members with a Larsen Trap to catch and kill crows and magpies, as they kept chickens, and they had seen such a trap at a game fair. It was absurd of them, as they had their chickens in strong coups, and the only case of harm coming to those birds, was when they left the coup door open, and the chickens broke out to wander around the allotments, where Foxes got them. To show contempt for my complaining to Glasgow City Council’s Land and Environmental Services, they trapped a Fox and killed it, then dumped it in my wildlife pond!

    Such narrow-minded vindictiveness is thus fairly common among those who feel that any wildlife that preys upon their hobby species, and they will act cruelly to make their point. A few weeks ago, on a scheme on the outskirts of Glasgow, five pigeon lofts were set on fire by competing pigeon racers. Those who attend game fairs, and who have an inexperienced outlook, as to what the natural world is all about, can quickly become certain species protectors due to groups such as the Song Bird Survival Society, and its propaganda about Crows and other predatory birds, wiping out song birds. Springwatch recently dealt with this subject about Woodpeckers using Blue Tit nest boxes as a larder, along with Jays doing the same with regard to Swallow nests. It was carefully explained on that programme, that humans should not interfere as has been going on for a very long time. It is to be hoped that that advice reaches those who have bought a Larsen Trap, thinking they are doing a humane job. However, such died in the wool prejudice takes a lot of convincing the closed minds of those who wish to be the Wyatt Earps of the natural world. It will take a long, hard convincing public re-education programme to undo all the damage of the gamekeeper being righter of wrong doings in the countryside, with the brainwashing of generations that Foxes, Crows, Magpies, Ravens, Stoats and Ferrets, and of course our Birds of Prey, are really VERMIN, and to be controlled or wiped out. Even the Mountain Hare has become a member of the Vermin Club. It is mankind that has upset the balance of nature world wide, and we are now witnessing the extinction of most the planet’s wildlife, and even its “wild” indigenous peoples for getting in the way of developments.

    • June 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Nicely written and put. The real vermin are these scumbags eradicating our precious wildlife. The tide is turning against them though thanks to sites like this, Springwatch, etc..

    • 5 Mairi
      June 8, 2017 at 6:55 am

      So true and, sadly, such people will probably never change. It’s down to the educators to win the hearts and minds of new generations, especially the offspring of these particular parents. Hopefully they can at least learn that it’s wrong to behave like this so that even if they don’t like the species they see as ‘vermine’, they won’t actually do them harm in the future.

  3. 6 Nimby
    June 7, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    That the issue was mentioned on BBC Springwatch is excellent publicity. Popular TV raising illegal raptor persecution, let’s have more & well done #Springwatch Maybe now BBC Countryfile will wake up as well?

    • June 7, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      I wouldn’t hold your breath re Countryfile – it’s aimed at Daily Mail readers…

      • 8 Nimby
        June 7, 2017 at 9:49 pm

        Agree #Countryfile is not reporting typical issues from rural areas and communities, it is selective in its promoted agenda but if you don’t ask etc.? Ever an agnostic but won’t be holding breath, but will carry on regardless in pursuit of legislative compliance for wildlife &c.

        RPUK is an inspiration, a resource and evidence that persistence and tenacity deliver ….

  4. June 7, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Fantastic to see this featured and one of the chicks being fostered into the Springwatch nest, unexpected and lovely twist. Was rather ironic if the poisoning was due to pigeon fanciers, on this night’s Springwatch un sprung there was a segment where a ringed pigeon had turned up on the set, was captured and owner informed who collected his ‘lost’ bird. At both my house in Gloucester and the farm I lived on in Suffolk a ringed pigeon turned up seemingly pissed of with racing and decided to hang around. This must be extremely common. The loss of these birds may well have been put down to peregrines or sparrowhawks by their owners, as if racing pigeons are infallible.

    • 11 Nimby
      June 7, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      ‘Lost birds’ are indeed common, equally common are the pigeon fanciers/racers who do not then want their birds back because they failed to home.

  5. 12 Peter
    June 8, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Great news for the young Peregrines and well done Springwatch. However the real problem still exists in as much as we and they are preaching to the converted. Converting the generally apathetic public to the cause is much more difficult.
    Keep up the good work RPUK

  6. 13 Roderick Leslie
    June 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    What a really fantastic story ! Once again Springwatch has exposed the impact of illegal persecution – altogether a huge credit to Chris and the Springwatch team, the BBC and the RSPB. But, if as seems likely, a Conservative Government is once more elected we will face a renewed challenge as the friends of the persecutors try and silence opposition – especially from the BBC, where they have already started crying foul over election coverage. We face the risks and consequences of a one party state and raptor persecution is on the highly visible front line of nature conservation.


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